Filipino SMEs on Track to Become Regional Players

Suppliers seen benefiting from improved infrastructure

(14 March 2014, Pasay City, Philippines)  Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippine supply chain will benefit from closer economic integration in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a member of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) said today. 

“These companies have been constrained by geographical and trade barriers for the longest time,” ASEAN BAC Council Member Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice Chairperson, SM Investments Corporation (SM), said.

“With ASEAN integration, they have an opportunity to grow into regional players, including those in the supply chain industry,” Sy-Coson added.

ASEAN BAC provides private-sector feedback to ASEAN in promoting closer integration. The grouping, which includes 10 emerging economies, is in the second phase of an 18-year effort to achieve a balanced regional development in infrastructure, labor, technology, trade and tourism. By 2015, the member countries hope to complete physical transport and communication infrastructure such as roads, railways and air and sea links. This will boost the flow of goods and services within the region and result in increased economic interaction.

“We expect a more robust regional logistics industry,” said SM Vice President for Corporate Governance & Risk Management Gil Gonzales, who sits on the ASEAN BAC committee. “SMEs can grow beyond national boundaries and these include Filipino companies.”

These enterprises can tap into some of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and benefit from increased market access to the four new members of ASEAN – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

These four countries are the target of a region-wide initiative to close the so-called “national development gap” by bringing them up to speed with their faster-developing neighbours.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Gil L. Gonzales
Vice President, Corporate Governance & Risk Management
SM Investments Corporation
Tel.No.: 857-0100 local 1430

Date: Friday, March 14, 2014